Liverpool today completed the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United. Read on to find out more about the Dutchman’s journey to Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool have first-hand experience of Wijnaldum’s quality after he scored Newcastle’s second goal in a 2-0 win over the Reds last season.
The 25-year-old raced clear before coolly lifting the ball over Simon Mignolet in injury time at St James’ Park.
That was one of 11 Premier League goals Wijnaldum scored in his first season in England following his switch from PSV Eindhoven last summer.
Seven weeks earlier, Wijnaldum had joined Reds greats Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Luis Suarez in an exclusive club of players to have scored four times in a Premier League fixture when he put Norwich City to the sword.
Wijnaldum is no stranger to rare goalscoring feats. The Rotterdam-born, versatile midfielder remains Feyenoord’s youngest ever Eredivisie scorer thanks to a strike against Heracles in December 2007 which came just 21 days after his 17th birthday.
That goal came eight months after Wijnaldum had become his hometown club’s youngest ever debutant when he was brought off the bench against Groningen.
Following four full seasons with Feyenoord, Wijnaldum was snapped up by PSV in the summer of 2011 and, after representing his country at U17, U19 and U21 level, was promoted to the Netherlands’ senior squad soon after.
Two hugely impressive seasons with PSV led to him being appointed club captain ahead of 2013-14. A back injury severely restricted his involvement during that campaign, but Wijnaldum bounced back in style as he returned to skipper Phillip Cocu’s team to the Eredivisie title in 2014-15.
A haul of 14 league goals and four assists earned him the Dutch Footballer of the Year award – a prize previously won by former Reds Jari Litmanen and Dirk Kuyt, as well as the likes of Romario and Marco van Basten – before his move to Newcastle.
While the season ended in disappointment and relegation for the Magpies, Wijnaldum was arguably their shining light, with the fact he played all 38 of their top-flight fixtures while also hitting double figures in goals evidence that he feels right at home in the Premier League.
Click here to watch our new No.5’s first interview as an LFC player.
Wijnaldum will now fly out to the USA to meet up with Jürgen Klopp and his new teammates. To keep up to date with all the latest news stateside, sign up to LFCTV and LFCTV GO.